Gordon panel OKs P1,000 initial SSS pension hike grant
Senator Richard Gordon gave in on Monday to a proposed initial grant of P1,000 increase in the monthly pension of Social Security System (SSS) retirees starting January 2017.
“Payag kami na P1,000, and then in the year 2020 siguro, malalagyan baka earlier (We agree on the P1,000 [grant], and then in the year 2020, that could be increased),” Gordon said after the hearing of the Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises, which he chairs.
The senator believes that the SSS funds would be compromised if Congress would insist on the full implementation of the proposed P2,000 across-the-board pension hike.
“Hindi kakayanin e. Ang kanilang reserves mako-compromise e, Ayaw naman nating malugi. Nagbigay tayo ng pansamantalang kaligayahan only to find out later on hindi makakayanan,” he added.
(It can’t be done. Their reserves would be compromised. We don’t want to lose money. We can’t give temporary joy only to find out later that [the agency] can’t handle it.)
Gordon said even the House of Representatives was amenable to the proposal to grant the P2,000 across-the-board pension hike in two tranches.
On the part of the Senate, the senator said his committee would try to pass the measure before Congress goes on Christmas break on December 14.
SSS chairman Amado Valdez, in a press statement furnished to Senate reporters, said immediately implementing the P2,000 pension hike would put the SSS funds in peril.
“The P1,000 initial pension increase offers a more doable option towards the same goal of an additional P2,000 per month for pensioners,” Valdez said.
At present, he said, the SSS funds were projected to last until 2042 but it would be depleted in 2025 if the proposed P2,000 monthly pension hike would be granted in full immediately.
Valdez pointed out that a P2,000 hike in 2017 alone would require an additional P64 billion for SSS.
“With the P1,000 initial across-the-board increase, the SSS funds life will last until 2032,” he further said. CDG/rga
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